“Should I save money or the Planet?” Why not both?!
It’s very easy to assume that saving the Earth is expensive because that is true in most cases. And while it’s true that organic vegetables are more expensive than conventionally grown produce and that clean, renewable energy is more expensive than fossil fuel, many ways saving the Earth can also, in turn, save money.
Many environmental goals or objectives involve reducing the rate of consumption which goes hand-in-hand with reducing your expenses and saving some of your money. Below are some of the easiest ways that you can use to save money and also save the planet.
Choose reusable water bottles
More than 60 million water bottles are discarded every day. While some get recycled, others end up in landfills or as litter in waterways. If you look at it from a new angle, you will see that it is a waste of money since a large percentage of bottled water sold in the U.S. is just tap water.
If you want to do your part in reducing the number of bottles thrown away, buy a reusable water bottle rather than getting a new one every time. A 20-ounce bottle of water costs $1.50, but water from a drinking fountain is clean and free so just fill it up, and no one will know the difference.
Grow your food
Growing your own is a simple way to drastically reduce the shipping and energy needed to transport fresh fruit or produce. Even though you start small, you can make an impact on the Earth and your wallet.
If your family eats a lot of specific produce- for example, lettuce or pickles- you can start growing your own. You can even choose a small container garden for that reason only. Either way, a garden can benefit you handsomely once the start-up cost has been absorbed and you start producing your produce.
Without the excess cost of shipping, this garden will help you to save your money.
Use public transportation
If you have the option to use public transportation, you can save a bit of money since you don’t have to cover the cost of gas, parking, maintenance, etc. You will save far more if you use rideshare services like Zipcar, Lyft, and Uber.
This service makes it easier to live in major cities car-free, and with some of these services, you can even rent or hire a car for the occasional night out or a day trip to the country.
This can also help you even if you have a car by reducing wear and tear of your tires, and if you have the opportunity to carpool to and fro work, this can also reduce expenses like gas and maintenance.
Drive less, walk more
Driving less and walking more to places helps you financially by reducing the cost of gas and maintenance, physically allowing you to exercise, and environmentally by reducing the number of poisonous car fumes released into the atmosphere, thereby destroying the ozone layer.
If you don’t want to walk, you can also carpool if you can endure the little hassle associated with carpooling. Live in a place with excellent walkability or public transportation. You can save a lot of money- on gas bills, maintenance fees, insurance payments, parking bills, etc.- by ditching the car entirely.
Borrow (and share) stuff
Another alternative when you need something is to borrow it. This is like borrowing books from the library or a cup of sugar from your neighbors; this is about the big stuff too. For example, when you need a ladder or power tool, ask your neighbors.
When you need stuff like chairs for get-togethers or parties, ask your friends, or you can take part in a sharing economy from companies like SPOT, Airbnb, etc. So before you buy something, check if you can borrow it and share it with others to increase the chances of them borrowing your stuff.
Use cloth napkins
Millions of paper towels are wasted each day, and this is unfortunate for us since they are not cheap, just convenient. Another cheap option exists for cleaning windows, countertop, etc. – cloth towels and napkins- you just have to wash them between every use.
Sure using cloth towels only leads to more laundry, thus water waste; the solution is simple: keep a bag to store the cloth towels and join them anytime you are doing the general laundry. Cloth towels and napkins don’t take much space, so that they won’t affect the size of your general laundry.
Going to work by bike
It’s one thing walking to the grocery store during the weekend, and it is another different thing to walk to work every day.
That’s why a growing population of people has decided to bike to their office instead of walking or driving; it takes fewer minutes than walking and is immeasurable cheaper than driving a car and paying for gas, parking, tolls, and all that stuff.
In the U.S, the number of bicycle trips has multiplied twice, from 1.8 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009. A bonus: Biking to work every day might make that expensive gym membership unnecessary.
Cut down on water usage
We have all heard the popular advice ” turn off the tap,” and the reason isn’t always given or told. The shocking truth about household water usage is this: According to a report from Scientific America, it has been found out that Americans have the largest per capita water consumption in the world, measuring at 2,842 cubic meters per year.
Not only does the water we use cost money, but we also lose money when we waste or fail to conserve this natural resource, for example, the California four-year drought, which cost the state more than $2 billion.
Unplug your electronics
Recent research shows that Americans could be spending as much as $7 billion per year on phantom energy, i.e., energy wasted on unused gadgets that remain plugged in at all times.
Several studies show that Americans waste about 50℅ of the energy piped into their homes if you want to save both the Earth and your money your unused electronics.
Buy used products to save money!
Take a look at used items before buying new ones. Not only will you save money, but you will save the energy that might be used to create and ship another brand new product and the fuel that might be spent transferring the goods from store to store.
So when next you need a product, check out garage sales and websites like Freecycle and Craiglist for used products.
Saving the planet has a lot of benefits for your mental and physical health. In addition, the feeling of doing something as important as saving the planet is a great one.
Fortunately, you don’t need to spend more when trying to save the planet. By taking note of the points discussed in this article, you will not only save the planet but save a lot of money while doing it.
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